Here’s the short version of how to practice mindfulness:
1. Start with two minutes. For two minutes a day, direct your attention to your breath: the way the air comes into your body and your chest and belly expand, and the way the breath leaves your body and your chest and belly deflate.
2. The first thing that will happen is your mind will wander to something else. That’s normal. That’s healthy. That’s actually the point. Notice that your mind wandered, let those extraneous thoughts go—you can return to them as soon as the two minutes are up—and allow your attention to return to your breath.
3. Noticing that your mind wandered and then returning your attention to your breath is the real work of mindfulness. It’s not so much about paying attention to your breath as it is about noticing what you’re paying attention to without judgment, and making a choice about whether you want to pay attention to it. What you’re “mindful” of is both your breath and your attention to your breath. By practicing this skill of noticing what you’re paying attention to, you are teaching yourself to be in control of your brain, so that your brain is not in control of you.
This regular two-minute practice will gradually result in periodic moments throughout the day when you notice what you’re paying attention to and then decide if that’s what you want to pay attention to right now, or if you want to pay attention to something else. What you pay attention to matters less than how you pay attention.
Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life – Emily Nagoski
Ch 4 Emotional Context: Sex In a Monkey Brain — Sex and the Survivor; pg 180